Fair boosts efforts to "go green"

FRESNO, California

Fair officials said it's important to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Whether it's Twinkies or curly fries, folks at the fair love their deep-fried foods. Chicken Charlie's figured if the sign doesn't get you, the smells will.

Deep fryers at the fair are refilled with oil every day. Tony Boghosian of Chicken Charlie's explained, "We have about 11 fryers which altogether use about 110 gallons of oil a day so at the end of the day we take all that oil and put it in drums."

It doesn't take very long to fill the drums with oil. Fair Deputy Manager Stacy Rianda said the used oil does not go to waste. Rianda said, "We have a gentleman who brings barrels out and as the oil gets used the concessionaires dump it into these barrels and at the end of the fair he comes through, picks it up and recycles it."

Some of the used oil becomes bio-diesel fuel. Boghosian said, "When you're driving behind a truck and you smell deep fried Twinkies it's probably from Chicken Charlie's."

The challenge for the fair has been to find new ways to go green. Cans, paper, plastic and cardboard are all recycled.

So are the tires used to make the rubber flooring found in the wine garden and a few other areas. Rianda said, "All of the products we have used for this flooring have diverted 13,000 tires out of landfills."

14,000 solar panels soak up the sun to produce 800 kilowatts of power each day for the fair.

Even when the fair ends, this place remains eco-friendly. Once a month it collects electronic waste. People come to drop off old computers and other equipment.

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